Understanding Blackboard Course Retention Policy

The rationale for the Blackboard Course Retention Policy is that the Iona Blackboard database has become large and filled with files using outdated Blackboard protocols. These files cause numerous problems and system malfunctions.

Course container creation and course deletion are administrative functions, not tasks that instructors can complete in Blackboard. Instructors can copy course materials from one existing course container to another. Course containers are created each term based on PeopleSoft, the database of record.

Examples of the policy in use
The methodology for the deletion of courses is based on the extension of the course in the Blackboard Course ID. For example, in the course ID CS140A.FS09, the FS09 represents Fall Semester 2009, WT09 would represent Winter Trimester 2009. Course deletions for a particular semester, trimester, or session will be based on the corresponding extension only.

The policy went into effect in January 2009. All courses created prior to Fall 2010 were deleted on November 15, 2012. Instructors were notified on October 3 and then again, two weeks later, on October 17.

This pattern will continue in subsequent terms.

Instructions for archiving are posted on the CELTIC website. CELTIC will provide workshops on archiving and individual assistance as requested.

Use of Archive Files
Blackboard archive files are .zip format, meaning all content is compressed into a single zipped file for storage and later restoration, if necessary, into the Blackboard system. It is essential to note that if you unzip this file, it will be rendered unusable by Blackboard.

The procedure for archiving or saving a course’s complete content would be:

  1. Instructor archives course to .zip format
  2. Instructor saves .zip file on his/her computer
  3. BB Administrator deletes course
  4. If the instructor wants the course resored when the course is offered again in the future, at the time of restoration, the instructor provides file to the Blackboard administrator to restore.